Joker’s Probation


SKU e-book Category

166 in stock


By Rickie Chew

ISBN: 978-1-84747-588-6
Published: 2008
Pages: 25
Key Themes: fiction, male experience, therapy group, assertiveness, schizophrenia, resilience


The story is about four blokes attending a therapy group headed by a doctor with the intention of helping them towards a normal and fulfilled life. In the group the men discuss their problems using the language of poetry while the doctor speaks in proverbs and clichés.

There is a similar scenario in the film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest, but I personally have never attended such a group. My inspiration came from an assertiveness course I attended after recovering from a relapse while my confidence was low. The class consisted of six or seven others in similar situations and together we played out scenarios to help with dealing with aggression.

I learnt from the course there’s no such thing as being under or over assertive, your either assertive or your not.

About the Author

Rickie was born in Aldershot in 1978, the son of a Grenadier Guard, he then lived in various places before putting down roots in Nottingham in 1991. He was admitted to hospital in the summer of 1999 whilst in the throws of his first psychotic episode. He spent a week in hospital following a year as a recluse on his parents sofa. Thanks to a change in medication and good friends and family Rickie managed to obtain a job as a pot washer, this brought routine and stability. Unfortunately after 6 months he experienced a relapse bringing 10 weeks off work sick and a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

He then stayed well for over 4 years whilst working various jobs and spending some spare-time working voluntarily for the NHS on the mental health befriending scheme.

In 2005 Rickie had another relapse resulting with a few weeks in hospital but was back at work within 6 weeks due to finances, but mentally was still trying to recover from the episode in 1999. Rickie uses poetry to express problems he feels he needs to articulate but it’s his wife and son that keep him taking his pills and enjoying life.

Book Extract

Doctor File:

Well gentlemen, it’s been a week since our last meeting and we’ve made a lot of headway, I’d still like you to feel free about expressing any and all issues and problems. I want you to know that a problem shared is a problem halved. Jonathan I would like it if you were the first to start the meeting.

Johnny – (I hear voices)

I hear voices,
Screeching through my brain,
They’re daily vices,
Elevating and illuminating the pain.

I hear voices,
Not always the same,
They’re daily vices,
A head wrecking game.

I hear voices,
People label me as insane,
They’re daily vices
It’s like scrubbing a stain

I hear voices,
They’re rarely tame,
They’re daily vices.
Sometimes I feel lame.

I hear voices,
The variety of rain,
They’re daily vices,
Washed away again and again.

Dr File:

Well gentlemen, understanding the problem is the first step to the healing beginning.

Jack interrupts – If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s about to hear it, does it mean it makes no sound?

Dr File:

I’ll be honest Jack I definitely feel that’s a problem that’s bothered philosophers for quite a while and although it’s a very good question I have mentioned to you before that it’s rude to interrupt. If I’m not mistaken I do believe it’s Michael’s turn to speak, now Michael I know this is your first time with us and I’d like you to know that it’s entirely safe to discuss anything you wish.


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